Family background and academic achievement: Does self-efficacy mediate outcomes?

Dana A. Weiser, Heidi R. Riggio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Research indicates both family background and self-efficacy influence academic outcomes; however, family background also impacts self-efficacy development. The purpose of the current study was to establish whether self-efficacy mediates the relationship between family background and academic achievement. Results indicated family background features were not robust predictors of academic achievement in the current sample, which limited testable mediation pathways. Evidence was found that self-efficacy does mediate the relationship between parental involvement and expectations of academic success. Results also indicated self-efficacy is a strong and consistent predictor of grade point average and expectations of academic success. Based on these findings, it is recommended educators utilize previously developed classroom strategies which have been shown to enhance students' self-efficacy levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-383
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Psychology of Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010


  • Academic achievement
  • Expectations of success
  • Family background
  • Self-efficacy


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